Georgina Probert, founder of Her Hair My Head and full-time topper wearer, looks at some essential kit for storing human hair and synthetic toppers.
So, you have finally found your dream topper or wig (or both!) and have likely spent quite a lot of money on it! But how do you store it to keep it looking fabulous for as long as possible? Here’s a few basic items that are really useful when you wear alternative hair.
There are many different ways to store your topper or wig:
- In a silk bag or canvas bag (silk is particularly good for human hair pieces). All of the own-brand Her Hair My Head toppers and wigs are sent out with a silk bag
- In the cardboard box the topper/wig arrived in
- In a plastic zip-lock bag
- On a wig stand or mannequin head
- On a hanger
I prefer to keep my own human hair pieces on an open wig stand or solid head, as they tend to lose their shape and style when kept in a box or bag, and then have to be styled before they can be worn again – this is particularly true for toppers/wigs with a fringe. However, I do keep synthetics in a box or bag, as their style is set and won’t change too much if the piece lays flat in a box.
I find different types of wig stands are useful for different situations, so you might find you need more than one type. They also vary quite a lot in price, so you might be able to afford a couple of collapsible plastic stands, but only one canvas block head.
Plastic wig stands (yes, they are called a wig stand, but can be used for toppers too) are inexpensive and they are great for air-drying your pieces once they have been washed. Ideally, you do not want to put a wet topper/wig on a solid wig stand, as it does not allow air to get to the base of the topper/inside of the wig cap. Plastic stands are open and allow air to get to the base/cap of the topper/wig, helping it to dry more quickly.
Another benefit of plastic stands is that they can be easily dismantled and are great for putting in a suitcase or overnight bag when you are travelling or going on holiday. They are not the most stable of stands and with toppers you often have to fiddle a bit to get the topper to sit securely on top, but they are an easy and inexpensive way of storing toppers and wigs. Buy them here!
Canvas block head
I use a canvas block head for displaying toppers/wigs and heat-styling them. Canvas block heads can often be bought as part of a set that includes a tripod or table clamp to secure the head. If you are buying the head separately, check if it has a hole in the base as you need this to slot it onto a tripod or clamp. If you want to be able to blow dry a topper/wig on the canvas block head, you will need T-pins. These are used to keep your piece secure. You push the pin through the topper/wig cap and into the head, but make sure you choose where to place them carefully. For example, on a silk top piece don’t put a pin through the silk in the middle of the parting or it will make a hole in the silk! I tend to put them through the stitching at the top of a weft, at the edge of the silk where it meets the wefts, or a thicker part of material at the edge of the topper/wig. When you are styling the piece, be careful not to pull on the hair too roughly, as you don’t want the T-pin to damage the piece.
Polystyrene or Polyfoam head
Poly heads are a lot cheaper than canvas block heads, but are more expensive than plastic wig stands. I mainly use polystyrene heads for storage and display of my toppers/wigs. They often have a blank ‘face’. Note: do not let a toddler decorate your poly head as the result can be very scary!
Poly heads are really light and are good for making sure your topper/wig keeps its shape. Some come with a hole in the bottom, so they can also be attached to a tripod or clamp. I have not tried T-pins on a polystyrene head, but in theory, you could also use this type of stand to style your topper.
You can often get poly heads for shorter toppers/wigs and then ones with a longer neck for long toppers/wigs.
I primarily use a mannequin head for photographing toppers and wigs, but you could also use one of these to store and display your pieces at home. This lovely lady (pictured right) has a full face of makeup and false eyelashes – I call her Esme! Just be aware that they can be somewhat disarming to people who come to your house and see a person staring at them from the corner. We used to have one in our bedroom and I had to turn the head to face the wall as it scared me in the night!
This mannequin head has a wig cap attached to the head, which is really useful as it helps to keep the toppers from sliding off. Some wig mannequins come with a smooth head, which is fine for wigs, but would be tricky to display a topper. Esme also has a hole underneath the base, so could be attached to a tripod or table clamp.
However you decide to store your topper/wig, it is useful to note that you should aim to keep the hair out of direct sunlight. Human hair toppers and wigs will oxidise in the sun, while the colours of synthetics can fade if they are constantly exposed to strong sunlight. Also try not to keep your topper/wig anywhere that is too warm, such as inside an airing cupboard.
My current set-up at home is to store the main three toppers that I wear regularly on a shelf in my bedroom. I then keep any others in boxes in my wardrobe. You could also get creative and make a feature of your toppers/wigs, such as a wig wall, like Moira Rose in Schitt’s Creek (see below)!
If you are short on space, you can keep toppers/wigs in boxes and don’t need to purchase wig stands. I do recommend storing human hair toppers/wigs in a silk bag, as this is much more gentle on the hair. Some people like to store their toppers/wigs on trouser hangers in a wardrobe. I have not tried this, as I would worry it might damage the base/cap and it will lose its ‘head’ shape.
Where to buy
Our plastic wig/topper stands are available in four colours. Buy them here.
I bought my canvas block head (set including a table clamp and t-pins) from Amazon.co.uk.
I will soon be stocking plastic stands and polyfoam heads for both long and short hair. Get in touch via email@example.com to purchase